Reasons Why Sleep is Important
According to experts, a child at 3 months needs to sleep between 14 to 17 hours each day. When they grow that number slowly reduces. It gets to 11 to 14 hours by the time they are 18 months. In fact, by two years, the number of hours a child has been asleep should be more than when they were a wake to say that they have been well rested. Read more on babies’ sleeping schedules here. Sleep is essential because:-
- It promotes growth – your baby goes through a growth spurt mostly during sleep
- It fights obesity – evidence shows that less sleep causes a child to be overweight beginning with infants
- It helps the heart through the circulation of stress hormones. It helps damages cholesterol.
- It creates a better cognitive and behavioural connection – research revealed a worse connection for children who did not get enough sleep.
- It helps fight illnesses – the body produces proteins called cytokines during sleep. It helps fight illnesses, infection, and stress. It is the reason sleep is recommended when one is under medication.
- It helps with learning – when babies sleep their brains are busy processing everything they learnt when awake.
- It increases the attention span of your child – research shows that getting less than 10 hours of sleep before three years will make your child impulsive and hyperactive.
See here how to ensure safe sleep.
How to Achieve Good Sleep
Good sleep means your baby to sleep on time and staying asleep for a long time. Your child has their own sleep process. The amount it takes him/her to fall asleep depends on their level of fatigue, their body, and daytime routine.
- Create a bedtime routine – every child thrives on routine. Having one for bedtime will make it easier for your child to sleep and also helps with sleep training.
- Feed your baby well before bed time
- Ensure that your child is exposed to the sun during daytime
- Create a serene and quiet environment for sleep – make the room dim if necessary
- Ensure your child relaxes before it’s time for bed
- Keep regular wake and sleep times
- Avoid caffeine if you are breastfeeding your baby
Consult a doctor if your baby has problem sleeping that lasts for over 2 to 4 weeks
Please note that development differs from one child to another.
Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.
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Last reviewed March 2019